flyfishergirl – Kathy Scott

Wild fish, a simple life, and shavings of Tonkin cane – all part of Kathy Scott’s world. Growing up on a family farm in Northern Michigan, she gained an early appreciation for all things natural. She carried it with her when she transplanted to Maine with her husband, cane rodmaker David Van Burgel.

They live at the edge of the Great North Woods, sharing their ever changing watershed with meandering moose, industrious beavers, and the pups, Effie and Midge. Kat’s passion to understand the natural world intertwines with David’s dedication to handcrafting fine split bamboo fly rods; theirs is a lifelong immersion in the out-of-doors and the deep meaning of friendship.

Kat’s first book, Moose in the Water Bamboo on the Bench, has become a classic among those who treasure split bamboo. She was nominated for the prestigious Rutstrum Wilderness Author’s Award for her second book, Headwaters Fall as Snow. Released just this fall, her third book, Changing Planes, intertwines the story of building her first split cane fly rod with changes in nature and the nature of change.

In Fly Rod and Reel, Seth Norman wrote, “If you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder how the hell such a gentle world survives anywhere near your own continent, this place and time where a rod made by your hands is just a brilliant stop on a journey well-traveled.”

In Kat’s world, writing it and living it go hand in hand. A dedicated conservationist, she’s currently volunteering in Atlantic salmon restoration. She’s the past president of the only Trout Unlimited Chapter to receive the Gold Trout award twice. Integrating kids’ programs into school setting is another passion; she’s the co-advisor of the high school “Varsity Fly Fishing Club” and the persistent coach-advocate for the middle school fly fishing club. Team teaching from her library media center insures that no 8th grader leave middle school without being able to cast a fly rod.

While she prefers little headwater trout streams in hard to reach places, she doesn’t mind releasing a 5-pound brook trout every once in a while, too.

Her writing appears in Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine, The Planing Form, and Powerfibers, as well as the Atlantic Salmon Federation Journal. She organizes panels of fly fishing writers for the Great Waters Expos and frequently speaks about cane or furled leaders; her DVD of making furled leaders has spread across a dozen countries. Each June, she joins David in teaching the cane rodmaking class for the Catskills Museum and Fly Fishing Center.

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